Yesterday, the Scottish Government announced a ban on evictions and a rent freeze in a bid to support households struggling with the cost-of-living crisis.
The measures will be fast-tracked through Holyrood under emergency legislation and are expected to remain in place until at least 31 March 2023. The measures are likely to amount to an interference with the property rights of landlords (in both the private and social and affordable housing sectors). It will be for the Scottish Government to explain how the legislative provisions are compatible with the rights protected under the European Convention on Human Rights.
The announcement has a significant impact on both public and private landlords.
The rent freeze will apply to all housing tenures, including social housing and we anticipate that the evictions moratorium will be not unlike the moratorium on evictions during the pandemic i.e. with the exception of antisocial behaviour, domestic abuse and criminal activity.
We understand that SFHA is to hold a meeting of Housing Association Chief Executives this week, with the Scottish Government intending to consult with the sector in early course.
Whilst many understand the catalyst behind restricting rent increases, there are wide-ranging concerns in relation to the impact this may have upon the ability of landlords to fund maintenance and upgrades to existing homes, the development of new homes and, provide vital tenant services.
The details of the proposed legislation are yet to be made known, with further information to be announced.
If you would like to get in touch to discuss please contact Fiona McLeod, Jenna Monteith or Jackie McGuire whose details are set out below.